Easton and Bridewell celebrate wins as Kiyonari and Byrne clash at Oulton Park
Tommy Bridewell and Stuart Easton shared the victories in a dramatic, incident-packed third round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park in which Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne crashed out of contention in race two, handing the series lead to James Ellison.
Bridewell led the opening race at the Cheshire circuit, fending off the fierce challenge from Josh Brookes by 0.160s to celebrate the Tyco BMW team’s first victory. Byrne had completed the podium in the opening race as he briefly extended his lead in the standings.
The second race produced high drama as Ryuichi Kiyonari led the race, eager to make amends for a fifth place in the opening race for the Buildbase BMW team. Bridewell was pushing to take the advantage before he crashed his Tyco BMW, ending his hopes of a repeat winning performance.
Kiyonari and Byrne then had been battling intensely for the lead as the two title-winners diced furiously for the second victory of the day, but with just over two laps to go Kiyonari clipped the back of the PBM Kawasaki at Hizzys Chicane and the pair crashed out of contention.
The champions crashing out left a three-way scrap for the win between Stuart Easton, Ellison and Brookes. The Scottish PBM Kawasaki rider held off Ellison on the final dash to the finish to score his first victory since 2010 by 0.161s.
Michael Laverty enjoyed his best result of the season so far in fourth place on the Tyco BMW ahead of Honda Racing’s Jason O’Halloran and Howie Mainwaring on the Quattro Plant Bournemouth Kawasaki.
Tommy Bridewell (Tyco BMW) – R1: 1st, R2: Crash – “It makes a change to be at the front as normally I am sat behind these other guys and struggling to hold on! All credit to the Tyco BMW team as the bike was working phenomenally. I was watching my board, Josh’s board, Shakey’s and Stuart’s too, thinking right I know what is going on behind me. It was a matter of trying to save smooth and conserve the tyre, but that all went out the window so it was sideways and holding on for dear life really! I keep my feet on the floor but I think that is one of the strongest races I have ever run. I am disappointed with race two but it is one of those things.”
Stuart Easton (PBM Kawasaki) – R1: 4th, R2: 1st – “The win has been a while coming, and I was bit fortunate – there were five or six of us out there running at the same pace. I got lucky, but I will take it. I always go well here and I have won in the Supersport class here too, I really like the circuit and I have really enjoyed this weekend. We now need to build on today and keep pushing for Snetterton.”
Josh Brookes – R1: 2nd, R2: 3rd – “In the first race I bodged up the lights a bit at the start of the race. I don’t know why, but everything seemed to go into slow motion. I saw them go out, but I just didn’t go, it just didn’t happen and I had three riders around me. I just floated into the first corner and took an ideal line and it gave me the lead which was really lucky. I got away with it I guess! I was trying to force Tommy to make a mistake but then I started to lose a bit of grip so I had to change my plan. I was trying to maintain the lap time and there wasn’t an opportunity to take an advantage. I was pleased to get third in race two; in general I made a few mistakes at the start and I thought I was going good but everyone was riding so well. Everyone at the front doesn’t normally make mistakes and if we do it is a crash, so I sat there at the back waiting to make a mistake or force a pass but it never showed. With Kiyo and Shakey going down it gifted me the third position and I will take it, it is too hard to get results in this championship so I am pleased with third.”
Jason O’Halloran continued his progress with seventh and fifth place finishes at Oulton Park.
Jason O’Halloran – “It’s been a good, positive weekend at Oulton. We had a seventh in race one and fifth in race two, and I’ve moved into the top-six in the championship, which is where we were aiming for. We made a few small changes for race two and I felt a lot more comfortable on the Fireblade, I’m a little disappointed with myself after making a mistake in the middle of race two and dropped back a little, but I managed to re-group and set a good time for my last lap. Now we have to bridge the gap to the front of the group and start challenging those boys. We have a two-day test coming up and it will be really beneficial to see if we can push forward and close the gap at the next round.”
Billy McConnell scored a 14th place in the opening race but improved to eighth place in the second bout.
Billy McConnell: “It’s been another weekend of ups and downs which is to be expected being a rookie rider in BSB again and with the team having their first taste of the premier class. We are loving every minute of it and although race one didn’t go to plan, I salvaged a result to get a few more points on the board. The second race went a lot better and although I was catching the riders in front of me battling for sixth I ultimately ran out of laps. I’m struggling a bit with my confidence mid race so I’ll be looking to fix this in time for the next round. I’ve got a great bike under me and am with a great team so we’re certainly heading in the right direction.”
Josh Waters, who qualified in 18th position, progressed through the pack to 12th in race one – setting the eighth-fastest lap of the race along the way – highlighting the progress the team has made with the set-up of his GSX-R1000.
After looking forward to battling at the front-end of the field in race two, a poor start left the double Australian Superbike Champion with work to do as he dropped outside of the points on the opening lap. However, he recovered to 12th with lap-times that would have seen him comfortably inside the top-10.
Team-mate Christian Iddon spent the weekend playing catch-up after breaking his leg at the previous round at Brands Hatch. The injury meant he couldn’t take part in the test at Oulton Park with the rest of the teams, and only one dry practice session saw the team still searching for the right set-up in time for qualifying.
However, he battled through from his 24th-place grid spot to finish in 17th place in race one before going two better in the second race and taking a hard-earned point away from a challenging weekend.
Josh Waters: “It’s been frustrating this weekend, especially race two. We moved up 10 positions on the grid only to move what felt like 10 back. The plan was to get away with the guys in front who we know we could lap with. But we’ve definitely moved forward with the bike and we’ll take the positives away with the times we put in this weekend. I’m looking forward to the Snetterton test now where we’ll keep working hard.”
Christian Iddon: “I think that’s the hardest point I’ve ever earned. We’ve been playing catch-up after missing the test and I really struggled with my leg in the first practice session. After that, the second session was wet and the third was half-and-half, so the first time I felt comfortable on the bike was in qualifying. In the races I struggled with arm-pump as I was over-compensating with them, and it’s a physically-demanding circuit. The team made some changes to the bike in race two to try and make it easier to ride. If we hadn’t scored a point this weekend I think I’d have cried. But now we have a break before Snetterton so I’ll keep working on getting the leg right and we’ll go from there.”
The Be Wiser Kawasaki team had a varied weekend, Chris Walker was again super consistent throughout the weekend scoring some solid Championship points, with an 11th in race one and ninth in race two. Danny Buchan was unfortunate to crash out of race one and was 17th in the second race.
Chris Walker – “I am fairly pleased with the weekend here at Oulton Park we still have a lot of changes to make and plenty of promise to move forwards. We were a little on the back foot here as most of the teams tested the week before but we are doing the two day test at Snetterton in a couple of weeks. The first race was pretty good but I was riding around on my own for most of it, we have made some good changes and the team are working really hard all the time to make strong improvements in each session. The second race was going well but about five laps in I had a malfunction with my electrics so the bike was doing things it wasn’t meant to be doing. I managed to re-group and ride around the problems but that at that point I’d lost positions and they had pulled too much of a gap for me to be able to do anything about it.”
Danny Buchan – “It was another really tough and frustrating weekend, everything was going so well in practice and qualifying and I felt really happy on the Be Wiser Kawasaki. It was a bit of carnage on the first lap of the race and I got pushed onto the grass, I lost my focus and sadly crashed out a couple of corners later. I struggled a little in the second race; I just wanted to bring the bike home in one piece. I am looking forward to testing at Snetterton and hopefully coming back stronger there. I want to get some consistent top ten results at the remaining rounds and I am just sorry to the team for the crash and want to give them a good result too.”
It had been a disappointing opening race for Milwaukee Yamaha’s Broc Parkes who was collected by another rider at the Hizzys Chicane, leaving him crashing out of contention, then in race two he had to try and battle through the order, feeling sore after his race one crash, to end in a disappointing 22nd place.
Broc Parkes – R1: Crash, R2: 22nd – “It’s not been a great day for me today. I got a good start to the first race but then got t-boned by another rider into Hizzys. He just hit me and then the bike was badly damaged which meant the boys had to fix it all up but then we had a few problems in the second race, but we need to check the data. As for me, my body has taken two beatings this weekend and both times I have been up in the air and landing on my shoulder and back. I felt sore in race two but I did my best – it has just been a disaster of a weekend. I want to look forward now to the test at Snetterton.”
The next round of the series will take place on June 19-21st on the Snetterton 300 circuit.
British Superbike 2015 – Round Three – Oulton Park – Race One
1 Thomas Bridewell GBR 28’43.914
2 Joshua Brookes AUS 0’00.160
3 Shane Byrne GBR 0’02.539
4 Stuart Easton GBR 0’03.742
5 Ryuichi Kiyonari JPN 0’04.656
6 James Ellison GBR 0’14.493
7 Jason O’Halloran AUS 0’17.672
8 Michael Laverty GBR 0’24.496
9 Howie Mainwaring Smart GBR 0’24.703
10 Richard Cooper GBR 0’25.123
11 Chris Walker GBR 0’27.959
12 Josh Waters AUS 0’30.449
13 James Westmorland GBR 0’32.321
14 Billy Mcconnell AUS 0’33.184
15 Lee Jackson GBR 0’33.750
British Superbike 2015 – Round Three – Oulton Park – Race Two
1 Stuart Easton GBR 28’46.890
2 James Ellison GBR 0’00.161
3 Joshua Brookes AUS 0’00.232
4 Michael Laverty GBR 0’12.102
5 Jason O’Halloran AUS 0’12.306
6 Howie Mainwaring Smart GBR 0’20.377
7 Richard Cooper GBR 0’21.086
8 Billy Mcconnell AUS 0’21.547
9 Chris Walker GBR 0’22.132
10 Lee Jackson GBR 0’23.529
11 James Westmorland GBR 0’23.774
12 Josh Waters AUS 0’24.372
13 Luke Mossey GBR 0’24.951
14 Martin Jessopp GBR 0’25.115
15 Christian Iddon GBR 0’25.436
Jake Dixon took the victory in a sensational finish to the Motorpoint British Supersport Championship race ahead of Kyle Ryde and Andy Reid as barely a third of a second separated them at the line.
It had been an all action affair throughout with Glenn Irwin making the break on the Gearlink Kawasaki ahead of series leader Luke Stapleford with James Rispoli third from Ryde, Reid and Dixon.
Stapleford was on the charge, aiming for a weekend double on the Profile Triumph, and ahead of Irwin on the second lap while Rispoli overshot at Hizzys. Stapleford had the edge but then it all went wrong for him as he pitted with a machine problem on the eighth lap with Ryde taking the lead from Irwin.
Harry Hartley high-sided big-time bringing out the Nissan GT-R Safety Car for three laps and immediately after it pulled in Irwin grabbed the initiative with Ryde close in second from Reid, Dixon, Joe Collier and Ben Wilson.
Then all change on an amazing penultimate lap with Reid grabbing the lead from Irwin with a stunning move from third to first, but there was more to come next time around. Reid was out of the saddle, but somehow held on while Irwin lost ground amid the confusion.
Dixon took full advantage, grabbing the lead, and then winning the dash to the line by 0.109secs from Ryde with Reid taking his first podium for the Team Traction Control Yamaha team with Irwin fourth from Supersport EVO leader Collier.
Levi Day took fourth and fifth place finishes in the EVO sub-category.
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship feature race
1: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph)
2: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) +0.109s
3: Andy Reid (Team Traction Control Yamaha) +0.341s
4: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) +0.682s
5: Joe Collier (Haribo Starmix Triumph) +0.756s
Motorpoint British Supersport Championship standings
1: Luke Stapleford (Profile Triumph) 111
2: Kyle Ryde (PacedayZ Trackdays Yamaha) 110
3: Jake Dixon (Smiths Triumph) 99
4: Glenn Irwin (Gearlink Kawasaki) 95
5: Andy Reid (Team Traction Control Yamaha) 51
Pirelli National Superstock 1000 Championship
Alastair Seeley took his and Tyco BMW’s first victory in the series 0.208secs ahead of series leader Josh Elliott on the Morello Kawasaki with Hudson Kennaugh a close third on the Trik Moto BMW in a race stopped three laps early following the heavy crash of Tom Tunstall.
David Johnson scored fifth place on a Smiths BMW as the South Australian returned to the Superstock 1000 ranks after pulling out of a Superbike ride at the beginning of the season.
Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship
Mason Law made it three wins out of three to tighten his grip on the chase for the crown as he led for much of the race once he had seen off the challenges of Tarran Mackenzie. Bradley Ray came through to take second place ahead of the local rider Joe Francis with Malachi Mitchell Thomas grabbing fourth on the last lap from Brad Jones.
Benjamin Currie took 14th place but thanks to his great form earlier in the season still holds down second place in the Superstock 600 Championship.
Ben Currie: “A great qualifying but the race didn’t go to plan as I got swiped in the first turn after qualifying on the front row for the 3rd race in a row. After running off track and onto the grass I rejoined dead last (40th) 4 seconds behind the pack. I fought hard and after 12 laps I managed to get myself into the points in 14th. I’m happy because I still hold second in the overall championship but not so happy at losing a big chunk of points to the championship leader. Huge thanks to all my sponsors, Craig and everyone at Pacedayz.com Trackdays, I will be pushing again at Donington.”
HEL Performance British Motostar Championship
Taz Taylor dominated the action, at one point stretching his lead to seven seconds, as he took his second Moto3 victory of the campaign ahead of Ed Rendell with Swedish rider Alex Persson taking third, his first podium in the series, ahead of Scott Deroue. Josh Owens was the top 125GP finisher, fifteenth overall ahead of Mark Clayton and Andrew Sawford.
Hyundai Heavy Industries British Sidecar Championship
Tim Reeves and Gregory Cluze romped to victory by a little over ten seconds from defending champions Sean Hegarty/James Neave with Tony Brown/Sam Christie running third ahead of Roger Lovelock/Aki Alto.
Ducati TriOptions Cup
The race has been postponed to the World Superbike supporting round at Donington Park later in the month giving the riders a triple header at the Leicestershire circuit.